From the May/June, 2010 issue of Touchstone

Marked Men by S. M. Hutchens

Editorial

Marked Men

The Christian & the Tattoo

In the opening chapters of Moby Dick, the narrator Ishmael, who in straitened circumstances has purposed to go to sea, can afford no better lodging than a shared bed at the Spouter Inn. He retires, hoping his roommate won’t bother to show up that night, but wakes to find the man, a shocking specimen, has arrived.

As I live, these covered parts of him were checkered with the same squares as his face; his back, too, was all over the same dark squares; he seemed to have been in a Thirty Years’ War, and just escaped from it with a sticking-plaster shirt. Still more, h . . .


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